Thursday, September 02, 2004

Jews irked at GOP cross


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Speakers at this week's Republican convention make their remarks at a wooden podium that some Jewish groups find offensive because its decorative panels appear to form the shape of a Christian cross.

A cross is even more visible in a waist-high gavel stand adjacent to the podium, leading some to question whether the party is trying to send a subtle message to its base among conservative Christians.

"It is the very height of insensitivity for the Republican Party to feature a cross at the center of the podium of this convention," Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said in a statement.

"This wooden cross must be at least three feet (one meter) tall, and it sends a signal of exclusivity loudly and clearly."


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